July 4, 1776: U.S. declares independence from Great Britain Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence is published to the world, marking the official start of the American Revolution.

November 15, 1777: Congress completes the Articles of Confederation The final version of the Articles of Confederation is adopted by Congress and submitted to the states for ratification.

March 1, 1781: Establishment of the U.S. Government Maryland ratifies the Articles of Confederation, formally establishing a confederacy as the first government of the United States.

September 3, 1783: Signing of Treaty of Paris The Treaty of Paris officially ends the American Revolution and establishes the terms of peace between the United States and Great Britain.

March 25, 1785: Meeting of Mount Vernon Conference Representatives of Maryland and Virginia meet at George Washington's plantation to resolve conflicts over the navigation of the Potomac and Pocomoke Rivers.

September 11, 1786: Meeting of the Annapolis Convention New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia, meet to discuss uniform trade regulations, but agree to appeal to all states to meet again to discuss broader reforms.

January 25, 1787: Shays' Rebellion Daniel Shays and other armed farmers from western Massachusetts attempt to conquer an arsenal of weapons in Springfield, MA in response to taxes levied by the Massachusetts Legislature.

May 25, 1787: First meeting of the Constitutional Convention Delegates from all states except Rhode Island meet in Philadelphia for the purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation. They end up drafting a new document, the U.S. Constitution, instead

September 17, 1787: Delegates sign U.S. Constitution All delegates to the Constitutional Convention, except 3, sign the U.S. Constitution.

September 19, 1787: First publication of the U.S. Constitution The Pennsylvania Packet prints the first public copy of the Constitution.

September 28, 1787: Congress formally submits Constitution to the states Congress sends a copy of the U.S. Constitution to the state legislatures with instructions about ratification.

October 27, 1787: First Federalist propaganda published in New York City Federalist No. 1 published anonymously under the name Publius in The Independent Journal.

January 1, 1788: J. & A. McLean announce plans to publish The Federalist. McLean publishers announce plans to compile a published volume of the first thirty-six Federalist essays.

March 2, 1788: The Federalist, A Collection of Essays is published The first 36 Federalist essays are published in a single volume with its preface written and corrections made by the author, later revealed to be Alexander Hamilton.

April 2, 1788: Federalist No. 77 published in The Independent Journal. Federalist Essay No. 77 is the final essay to be published in the New York serial newspapers. The remaining essays are published in a second compilation volume.

May 28, 1788: The Federalist, Volume Second is published Federalist essays numbered 37 to 77 are published, with an additional 8 new essays that had not yet been printed in a New York newspaper.

June 14, 1788: The final eight Federalist essays appear in the newspapers Between June and August, the final eight essays, originally published as part of the McLean Volume Second, are printed in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet.

July 2, 1788: official ratification of the U.S. Constitution With New Hampshire's ratification, the U.S. Constitution becomes formally accepted and a committee is appointed to plan the transition to the new government.

July 26, 1788: New York is the eleventh state to ratify New York ratifies the U.S. Constitution by a vote of 30-27 with recommended amendments.

March 4, 1789: Effective Date of the U.S. Constitution The new U.S. Government under the U.S. Constitution formally goes into effect.

March 1, 1792: Ratification of Bill of Rights Thomas Jefferson announces the ratification of the Bill of Rights, and they go into effect.

January 13, 1802: George Hopkins announces his publication of a second edition of The Federalist George Hopkins not only announces his forthcoming publication of the Federalist, but also reveals Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay as the anonymous authors of the essays.

December 8, 1802: The Hopkins edition of The Federalist is published The Hopkins edition is published and thought to contain the final revisions approved by Hamilton.

August 1818: Jacob Gideon published the third edition of The Federalist Jacob Gideon published a version of The Federalist, undertaken with approval by James Madison and including the first publication of Madison's corrections and his listing of authors.

July 1804: Death of Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton dies as a result of a duel with Aaron Burr.

March 4, 1809: James Madison sworn in as President James Madison, now a solid member of the Jeffersonian Republicans, is sworn in as the fourth President of the United States.

Popular pages: The Federalist Papers (1787-1789)